Monday, December 3, 2007

Championship Weekend In Review

This last weekend was a big weekend for college football. As has been expected this season the #1 and #2 teams lost so the BCS was flipped upside down. Let’s just hope that this time the BCS is such a mess that they have no other choice but to implement a playoff-type system. No matter how small it will be better than what is being done at this point. With all of the big games my mind was racing.

The Civil War: The Ducks have found every way to top the pain of the previous week’s loss this past month. Each week I thought there was no way a loss could hurt more but each week I have been wrong. You will not find me making any excuses for the loss against the Beavers given the fact that the opportunity was there for a win. Everyone knows that if the game was played a month ago it would not have been close but it wasn’t played then so there is no need to whine about it. My one observation concerns the OSU defense. Coming into the game I was worried because statistically the OSU defense was as good as any in the nation (USC included). Well, after seeing them play against a shell of the UO offense I can only come to one conclusion. They are words spoken by a person smarter than I. “Statistics don’t lie, but you can lie with statistics.” When it comes to the OSU defense truer words have never been spoken.

Hawai’i: Since Hawai’i has been on TV quite a few times I have been able to see a lot of their games. Given all that was riding on their game against Washington I felt it appropriate that I watch the entire game. Well, if I were the god of a college football playoff there would have to be at least 32 teams in the tournament before I’d consider putting them in it. Washington was the only BCS conference team Hawai’i played all season. They were clearly the best team Hawai’i played all season. (Don’t anyone tell me Boise State is better because Washington dominated them.) Since Washington is part of the Pac-10 I have seen quite a bit of them and know that they are not a good team. If the only game you’d seen Washington play was their last one you might think differently. Hawai’i made Washington look like a Top 10 team if you believe Hawai’i is any good. Hawai’i was playing at home in the biggest game in their school’s history and they needed a questionable illegal pass by Washington QB Jake Locker (he’s going to be very good), a last minute touchdown and a last play stop after Washington drove the length of the field in 20 seconds. There was nothing impressive about the Hawai’i victory. There’s a chance that Hawai’i gives Georgia a game but it will do nothing to change my opinion about a WAC team being any good. If the conference’s biggest teams think they are big time because they play Washington they are mistaken. Given a month’s time to prepare any team can pull out an upset. It’s something else to actually play 3 good teams in a month (not in a player’s 5-year playing career), which WAC teams never do.

Weak Schedules: While on the topic of lame schedules I figure it’s a good time to talk about Ohio State. Last year, when USC was cleaning up in the Pac-10 I came to the following conclusion: There is no reason to have a competitive conference if a team plays a tough non-conference schedule. In fact, I think teams should root for their conference to be poor. It makes it a whole lot easier to shoot up the rankings (see Hawai’i or Ohio State). When talking about Ohio State a wise man once compared them to “qualifying for the U.S. Open by playing a par-3 golf course.” I find it funny, true and sad all at the same time. Now I can only conclude that the theory of playing a tough non-conference schedule is overrated too. Ohio State has proven there is no benefit to playing tough teams when the other option is to create a schedule that all but guarantees an undefeated season. The fact that Ohio State couldn’t even go undefeated is likely quite embarrassing but not nearly as embarrassing as getting pounded in the BCS Championship for the second year in a row.

No BCS for ASU: Last week on the radio Lou Holtz commended the Pac-10 for playing a round-robin league schedule. When the NCAA allowed for 12 regular season games the Pac-10 was the only conference that added a league game instead of a cupcake. Kansas coach Mark Mangino likes cupcakes on his schedule and dinner plate. In fact, I think he likes them on his breakfast and lunch plate too but I can’t confirm that. Back to Lou Holtz. He said that if it comes down to a Pac-10 team and a team from another conference a Pac-10 team should be chosen. Note that Holtz didn’t define it but you have to figure he was talking about BCS-type decisions. I thought Lou Holtz had a great point. So you know, it didn’t change my opinion of him since I already love him having grown up on Notre Dame football! With all of that said I don’t think ASU was screwed by the BCS. The Pac-10 didn’t deserve multiple BCS bids. Notre Dame (an epically bad team) only won 3 games, 2 of which were against Pac-10 teams. Need I say more.

Bowl Eligible: I do not get paid to watch or analyze college football but maybe I should. The people that do are complete morons. Does anyone really think that comparing how many bowl eligible teams are on a team’s schedule is a reasonable way to determine whose schedule is more challenging? If you have a brain you can’t. I’ve already explained how teams create non-conference schedules. As a reminder, teams create non-conference schedules to mirror Mark Mangino’s diet. Now the other piece of this pie (Mark Mangino probably likes pie too) is that a team only needs to be 6-6 to be bowl eligible. It doesn’t take a math major to realize that a team that is not from the Pac-10 only needs to win 2 conference games to be bowl eligible. There is nothing about bowl eligibility that impresses me and the media pundits need to realize this. In summary, a team can win its first 4 games then win 2 of its next 8 to be bowl eligible. Very impressive!

1 comment:

elmazz said...

Maybe the University should consider a job change for you, great perspective. I don't understand how the powers to be can't figure this crap out. Morons!